Canucks and Beyond

New Ways to Make Money at GM Place

08/25/2008 at 9:16pm EDT

The Vancouver Canucks may not lead the league in on-ice performance (like the Wings), or corporate branding (like the Leafs) or pretty much anything else, but it seems like they’re always on the cutting edge when it comes to new ways to make money.

In Forbes, I saw this today:

[Two] major league sports franchises, baseball’s New York Mets and hockey’s Vancouver Canucks, have signed deals with Nortel Networks to upgrade their in-house voice and data systems, likely leading to instant concession stand ordering from all over the arena.

Sounds convenient. But of course, this isn’t just about convenience for the fans, but about profit for the team.

If all goes according to plan, company execs see teams providing PDA-carrying fans with food- and merchandise-ordering options first, then expanding into features like instant replay and stats. Eventually, they envision fans replaying a home run to zoom in on a player’s brand of cleats and then ordering their own pair with a few more clicks.

“This will open up new revenue streams and create a whole new fan experience,” says Wes Durrow, Nortel’s VP of enterprise marketing.

Sigh. Vancouver may not have its finger on the pulse of a Stanley Cup in my lifetime, but I dare anyone to argue that the Canucks organization doesn’t know just about everything there is to know on the subject of new revenue streams.

If only their hockey operations guys had such a successful track record.

The new system will be set up for employee communications within the arena initially, but some experimentation with the fans using the system is expected to happen this season.

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